Seed Catalogs for Susan

said on June 8th, 2012 filed under: Localism

My pal, Susan Jordan, asked me to recommend seed catalogs for heirloom corn or maize.  That’s a more complicated request than it seems.  Let me share a passage about seed catalogs from one of my favorite books, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature:  A Gardener’s Education.  The quote comes from Chapter 11 “Made Wild by Pompous Catalogs.”

“After you’ve read a dozen or so catalogs, you start to realize that the differences between them are not so much in the varieties of plants and seeds they offer, for there is a great deal of overlap, as in the distinctive way each of them chooses to imagine the garden.  Among other things, a garden is a form of self-expression, and we page through the various catalogs looking for the elements of a vocabulary that suits us, that can give body to our wishes.  From White Flower Farm or Wayside Gardens we can have a perennial border that fairly bristles with class distinctions, floral testimony to our sophistication; from Harris or Park or Gurney’s we can order a middle-class garden that proudly announces to the neighbors our family’s enterprise, independence, and togetherness; from Johnny’s Selected Seeds or Pinetree Garden Seeds we can get a garden that reflects our environmental consciousness; from Seeds Blum or J. L. Hudson one that reflects our political convictions, in particular our zeal to protect the planet’s genetic diversity from the depredations of big business.  Spend a few quiet winter nights with these not-so-quiet catalogs, and you begin to see that, just beneath its placid surface, the garden is buzzing with social and political controversy.”

Here are your links:

White Flower Farm

Wayside Gardens




Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Pinetree Garden Seeds

Seeds Blum (out of business)

J. L. Hudson

And in our neck of the woods, the catalog from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply



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